Mike Tyson is a retired boxer and former world heavyweight boxing champion, unarguably one of the most ferocious fighters in the history of professional boxing. In 1986, at the age of 20, Tyson won the WBC title, making him the youngest heavyweight champion ever. The following year, Tyson won the WBA and IBF titles making him the first heavyweight champion to hold all 3 titles at the same time.
Tyson had the strength of a bull, his blows came very quickly and his defensive abilities were unmatched. His aggressive behaviour in and out of the ring, coupled with his ability to finish off his opponents in just one round, earned Tyson the nickname “Iron Man”.
Mike Tyson’s winning streak lasted till 1990 when he lost the belts to an underdog Buster Douglas. In 1992, he was sent to jail after being convicted of rape. After a 3-year stint in jail, Tyson promptly returned to the ring and made several efforts to get back to the top.
Tyson is also infamous for biting off the ear of his opponent Evander Holyfield during a high-profile match in 1997. The former heavyweight champion was disqualified for the bizarre act, fined very heavily and equally had his license revoked.
Controversial as his career was, Mike Tyson is still adjudged as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers ever. In 2011, he was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame. Upon retirement, Tyson ventured into showbiz and also launched his own clothing line. His acting career boasts such blockbusters as The Hangover.
Mike Tyson was born Michael Gerard Tyson on June 30, 1966, in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Jimmy Kirkpatrick and Lorna Tyson. Tyson was raised by his mother after his father abandoned them. Due to scarce resources, Tyson’s mother was forced to move to Brownsville, a rough Brooklyn neighbourhood with a high crime rate.
As a young boy, Mike Tyson had a small frame and was an easy target for bullies. To defend himself, the young Tyson developed into a notorious street fighter. He was recruited into a criminal gang at the age of 7. He dropped out of high school as a junior and by age 13, he had been locked up more than 30 times. However, his outstanding fighting skills were spotted during one of his spells at a juvenile detention centre by former boxer Bobby Stewart.
As a teenager, Tyson won the gold medals at the 1981 and 1982 Junior Olympics, a precedence for what was to become of the fiery boxer. He made his professional debut in 1985 and a year later (1986), he was crowned the heavyweight champion of the world. The following year, Tyson successfully defended his heavyweight title against James Smith which also earned him the World Boxing Association (WBA) title. In the same year (1987), Tyson claimed the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title from Tony Tucker making him the first boxing champion to hold all 3 major boxing belts simultaneously.
Mike Tyson maintained his winning streak until February 11, 1990, when he was defeated by underdog Buster Douglas. After he lost his titles, things seemed to go south for the former champion. In March 1992, Tyson was found guilty of rape and was sentenced to 6 years in jail. However, he was released after serving only 3 years.
Upon his release, Tyson immediately got back to the ring in a bid to reclaim his place as a boxing champion. On November 9, 1996, after a series of successful fights, Tyson went head-to-head against the reigning heavyweight champion, Evander Holifield. Tyson was defeated via a knockout in the 11th round. However, Tyson cried foul claiming that Holyfield had illegally headbutted him several times during the match. He threatened to pay Holyfield back in his own coin.
Tyson booked a rematch with Holyfield on June 28, 1997. The rematch was a high profile fight which attracted a record number of viewers worldwide. However, the viewers and match officials got more than they bargained when things went awry in the 3rd round of the fight. In a bizarre turn of events, Mike Tyson grabbed his opponent’s head and bit off a piece of his right ear.
That unprecedented move got Tyson disqualified from the match, followed by a myriad of other sanctions by the boxing associations. On July 9, 1997, Mike Tyson had his boxing license revoked and was slammed with a fine of $3 million. He made efforts to regain his license while his personal life was also in a turmoil.
He had a bit of luck in October 1998 when his license was reinstated. Tyson quickly set out to get back to his winning ways but without success. From the time he got back his license until the end of the millennium Tyson was trailed with numerous allegations of violence and sexual misconduct.
In 2000, things seemed to come to a head for Tyson after he failed a random drug test. The last high profile match of Tyson’s career was against British boxer Lennox Lewis. He lost the match by a knockout and that signalled the beginning of the end for the former undisputed champion. In the following years, Tyson suffered a series of more defeats and in 2005, he decided to hang up his gloves.
Since after retirement, Tyson has engaged in several ventures to reinvent himself. He went on an exhibition tour in 2006 and featured in the 2009 comedy film The Hangover alongside Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis.
Mike Tyson’s Wife
In his dynamic life, Mike Tyson has had his fair share of controversy, relationships and scandal. However, he seems to have found peace and currently, he counts himself lucky to be blessed with the family he has. Mike Tyson is married to Lakiha Spicer. The couple tied the knot on June 6, 2009, at the La Bella Wedding Chapel. They have 2 children together, daughter Milan and son Morocco.
Prior to his current marriage, the former heavyweight champion had been married twice in the past. He was married to Monica Turner between 1997 and 2003. Monica Turner is a paediatrician and was a resident at Georgetown University Medical Center. She filed for divorce in January 2002 claiming that Tyson had been unfaithful during their marriage.
Before her, Tyson was married to American actress Robin Givens. The two had appeared in a Pepsi commercial in 1988. His marriage to Robin lasted just one year from 1988-1989. Their union ended on February 14, 1989, after Robin had announced on national TV that she was terrified of Tyson.
Mike Tyson currently has 7 children. The boxing legend welcomed his first child, daughter Mikey Lorna Tyson with Kimberly Scarborough in 1990. His marriage to Monica Turner blessed him with 2 more children; son Amir and daughter Rayna. He welcomed daughter Rayna Tyson on February 14, 1996, and son Amir Tyson on August 5, 1997. Mike Tyson also counts Gena Turner, Monica Turner’s daughter from an earlier marriage as one of his children.
In 2002, Tyson welcomed a second son Miguel Leon Tyson with an undisclosed partner. He welcomed daughter Exodus Tyson in 2005 with Sol Xochitl. However, tragedy struck the Tysons on May 25, 2009, Tyson’s daughter Exodus who was 4 years old got caught up in a cord dangling from a home treadmill. She passed away a day after that accident due to injuries sustained.
His third marriage to Lakiha Spicer has produced 2 children; daughter Milan Tyson and son Morocco Tyson.
Mike Tyson’s Net Worth
At the peak of his career, Mike Tyson was paid as much as $20 million per fight. For his ill-fated 1997 rematch against Evander Holyfield, he was paid $30 million.
According to Forbes, the former undisputed boxing champion amassed over $400 million during his career. Unfortunately, he belongs to the ranks of superstars who squandered their wealth through overly extravagant lifestyles.
After years of making terrible financial decisions, with a myriad of lawsuits against him coupled with his dwindling career, Mike Tyson filed for bankruptcy in 2003. The former boxing champion announced to the world that he was broke with an accumulated debt of $23 million hanging on his neck.
After retiring from boxing in 2005, Tyson ventured into acting and several business partnerships to get himself out of the woods. He went from being a multimillionaire to living on paycheck after paycheck. He is currently estimated to be worth $3 million.
Is He Dead?
Even though he lived his earlier years on the fast lane, the former boxing star is still alive and well. Mike Tyson has also been hit by several tragedies in his lifetime, but the tragic loss of his 4-year-old daughter Exodus in 2009 affected him immensely and made him have a rethink about the man he is.
Tyson who earned himself a nickname as the “Baddest Man on the Planet” now shows a more subtle version of himself. The former sports star who was known to make headlines usually for the wrong reasons has now transformed into a wholesome family man.
However, he fell victim to a celebrity death hoax in February 2018 when it was claimed that he had died of a heart attack. As soon as the fake report was out, “tributes” started pouring in via social media. The boxing star didn’t immediately address the rumour but going by his activities on social media, it soon became clear to all that he was very much alive
Height and Other Body Measurements
Weight: 240 lbs / 109 kg
Height: 5′ 10″
Shoe Size: 15 (US)